Your credit utilization measures the total debt you’re carrying across all revolving credit accounts – and against your total available credit. High credit use can have negative impacts on your credit health, including a lower FICO score, credit limit decreases, and more.
What Is the Credit Utilization Ratio?
The credit utilization ratio is the percentage of your overall credit that you are using. The overall credit utilization measures your total revolving credit lines but can also be calculated from card to card.
Why Does Knowing Your Credit Utilization Matter?
The general rule of thumb is to maintain a utilization ratio of less than 30%, though ideally, it should be as close to 0% as possible. That’s because keeping a low credit utilization ratio is essential for overall credit health and well-being.
You need a low credit utilization ratio if you want a good credit score. Suppose you want to qualify for the best interest rates and the most prestigious credit cards. In that case, you need a low credit utilization ratio. What is the credit utilization ratio (also known as credit utilization rate)? It’s a percentage of how much of your total available credit you are using.
High credit utilization on revolving loans (like credit cards) can lead to higher interest rates, less favorable loan terms, and less available funds for social and other activities. A higher credit usage rate makes you seem more of a risk to lenders and can lower your credit score over time.
How Do You Calculate Your Credit Utilization Ratio?
To calculate your credit utilization ratio, divide your current balance amount on any card by your credit limit. To determine your total utilization ratio across all your credit cards, follow the same procedure after adding all balances and all spending limits.
Use the credit utilization ratio calendar to determine your credit use:
How Can You Decrease Your Credit Utilization?
Credit use impacts all aspects of your credit health. Repairing credit and reducing credit utilization is possible, however. Browse helpful credit repair tips from the BestCards team: